On the Balcony, signed, inscribed in Cyrillic and dated 1916.
Oil on canvas, 80.5 by 103 cm.
Provenance: Collection of I.I. Deshaev (label on the stretcher).
Private collection, Russia.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Exhibited: XIV vystavka kartin Soiuza russkikh khudozhnikov, Moscow, 18 December 1916 – 8 January 1917, No. 107 (label on the stretcher).
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Katalog XIV vystavki kartin Soiuza russkikh khudozhnikov, Moscow, Tovarischestvo tipografii A.I. Mamontova, 1916, p. 7, No. 107, listed.
On the Balcony by Sergei Vinogradov is unquestionably one of the most important works from the artist’s Russian period. Vinogradov spent summers of 1915-1917 in Crimea and his sun-drenched vistas of the sea and local landscape are now among the prize exhibits of many Russian museums.
Painted in 1916 in Alupka, On the Balcony most likely depicts Irina Voitsekhovskaya, his former pupil at the Stroganov Academy and future wife.
The main impact of the work comes from the striking ease with which the artist achieves a highly complex saturation of colour, in the blues of the water and the expanses of the sky. Vinogradov himself considered On the Balcony to be a successful example of his work, as it was exhibited at the ХIV Exhibition of the Union of Russian Artists in 1916–1917, together with a group of selected paintings from the Crimean sojourn.
Sergei Vinogradov is among those eminent masters whose work gives a vivid picture of the development of the Russian plein air genre in the first two decades of the 20th century. In the 1880s, influenced by prominent teachers such as Vladimir Makovsky, Vasily Polenov, Illarion Pryanishnikov, he perfected the skill of narrative painting, bringing a freshness of perception and richness of colour to the Russian genre style. His virtuoso draughtsmanship and excellent compositional gift allowed Vinogradov to create works on a par with those of his teachers. Robust drawing meant that Vinogradov could keep a tight hold on the form of his subjects and achieve a brilliant impressionistic effect without compromising other aspects of the work.
Later in life Vinogradov was among the founders and active members of the Union of Russian Artists, together with Arkhipov, Yuon, Rylov and Korovin. The group made an important contribution to Russian artistic life by consistent development of the national impressionist tradition, and it also largely determined the further development of contemporary realist painting, echoes of which are visible in the best examples of Russian post-war art.
On the Balcony is an exceptional example of Vinogradov’s work and its first ever appearance at auction presents collectors with a rare opportunity to acquire a painting from the artist’s most cherished period.
The present lot as mentioned in the 1916–1917 exhibition catalogue.
S. Vinogradov, Women by the Sea, 191(5), sold for 351,300 GBP at MacDougall's, 27 November 2013.
Notes on symbols:
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Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
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